At the end of another long-winded NFL Draft cycle, Joe Burrow has maintained his status as a top prospect. While he may not be the consensus highest-rated player in this year’s class, there’s a reason why he’s been the overwhelming favorite to be the first pick in the draft for months.
It’s tough to find a final big board out on the internet that doesn’t have Burrow as a top-five player. Trust us, we looked. Here’s a final big board roundup listing where Burrow is ranked in each one.
Pro Football Focus: 1st overall
He demolished college football in a way we’ve never seen before. Burrow is easily the most accurate quarterback we’ve ever scouted and looks NFL ready in every regard.
Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network: 1st overall
Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: 1st overall
Burrow also has the ability to make anticipation throws, better than his peers and among the best we have seen from a prospect in recent history. His ability to get the ball out on time and in rhythm, before his target makes his break, is going to give his receivers a chance after the catch from Day One … and make his receivers very happy.
Finally, Burrow does a lot of the little things extremely well as a quarterback, from using his eyes to influence defenders to employing shoulder shrugs and/or pump fakes to get defenders out of position. This extends from his feet to his toes. Watch his footwork in the pocket, Burrow is always in position to throw from a solid platform, even if he is moved off his spot, or carrying out a mesh with the running back on an RPO design.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: 2nd overall
Burrow has solid size for the position and he possesses many elite qualities. He operated out of the ‘gun in the LSU spread attack and he is extremely accurate, efficient and instinctive. He is very smooth in his drop and he has the ability to process through his reads at a rapid pace. He throws with anticipation and he can naturally layer the ball over and under coverage. He doesn’t have top-shelf arm strength when driving the ball outside the numbers. He relies more on timing/touch. He doesn’t flinch versus pressure when he sees something he likes down the field. If he needs to buy time, he can slide and climb the pocket with excellent feel/awareness. He has a nice burst when he leaves the pocket and he is more than a capable runner. Overall, Burrow lacks special arm strength, but his combination of poise, accuracy and toughness is very appealing.
Dane Brugler, The Athletic: 2nd overall
A “competitive maniac,” according to Urban Meyer, Burrow plays with the fiery intensity of Phillip Rivers and much of his success comes from channeling his competitive juices in a focused, motivational manner. He shows the ability to quickly identify the void or vulnerable match-up and he doesn’t miss once he finds it. He doesn’t have top shelf arm strength, which could be an issue in certain weather conditions, but he plays with terrific timing and ball placement to make-up for his lack of RPMs. Overall, Burrow is the ultimate competitor and he orchestrates the offense with poise, processing skills and accuracy, projecting as an immediate NFL starter with Pro Bowl skills worthy of the No. 1 overall pick.
Arif Hasan, The Athletic: 2nd overall
Danny Kelly, The Ringer: 2nd overall
Hyper-efficient signal-caller with top-tier accuracy, ice in his veins even under pressure, and some out-of-structure playmaking moxie―but just one season of elite production
Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated: 2nd overall
Despite facing seven top-10 opponents, Burrow played his best in the biggest moments as he led the Tigers to an undefeated season. Throwing an FBS-record 60 touchdowns and rushing for five more, the Heisman-winning quarterback shows tremendous poise in the pocket and throws with pinpoint accuracy.
Jeff Legwold, ESPN: 3rd overall
Burrow threw 60 touchdown passes in 2019 while leading LSU to a national title. Against the three teams LSU faced that finished among the nation’s top 10 in scoring defense, he threw for an average of 368.3 yards with 12 touchdown passes and no interceptions. LSU was 11-1 against top-10 teams in Burrow’s time as a starter. He showed staggering poise, accuracy and confidence — ding him for arm strength at your own risk — with coveted leadership.
Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: 4th overall
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: 5th overall
Burrow has mental and physical toughness along with the classic swagger teams want from an on-field leader, and it translated to the ultimate college championship success. He has the arm to drop the ball anywhere and the athleticism to extend plays, too.